Lot # 15: Louis Rose Large Flange Mid-Iron

Starting Bid: $500.00

Bids: 5 (Bid History)

Time Left: Auction closed
Lot / Auction Closed

This lot is closed. Bidding is not allowed.

Item was in Auction "Fall 2021",
which ran from 11/4/2021 11:00 AM to
11/21/2021 1:35 AM

In April of 1989, the auctioneer attended a Richard Oliver Golf Auction in Maine.  This was the second Oliver golf auction and there were some great items offered.  One item, lot 272, was offered as an extremely rare punch face mid iron with "a very thin metal flange attached to the bottom of the club by two round metal dowels." 

The club in lot 272 was actually covered under a 1913 British patent issued to Louis Rose (see TCA2 v1 p321). But nobody in the room knew that at the time.

Lot 272 was estimated at $1500-$2000 and sold for the hammer price of $2250 (not counting the buyers premium).  That was the only Rose's flanged iron known to the auctioneer until the mid 1990s, when he spotted two more on display during a visit to the James River Golf Museum in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Since the visit to James River, the auctioneer has not seen or heard of any additional such irons until he sold a fourth in the Spring 2020 Auction.

Offered here is the original Rose Flange iron known to the auctioneer—the mid iron that sold in the 1989 Oliver auction.  The 1989 auction catalog image (shown with this lot) provides for easy photo authentication of that fact.

The flange actually has more surface area than the face, with the flange measuring just over 1 3/4" front to back and the face not quite 1 3/4" tall at its tallest point.

In addition to using 2 pins to attach to the flange to the head, rivets that are quite visible under the toe and heel, the flange on this club was brazed to the bottom of the head. 

The fact that pins were used on the other irons to attach the plate to the head, we know the plate and head were first made as two separate pieces. Rose's patent acknowledges this when it states, "The sole may be attached to existing clubs in any suitable way."  So to strengthen this connection, the head and plate were brazing and soldered, not just pinned. 

There were a few wood-shafted flanged irons made in the 1890s and shortly thereafter, such as those by William Ballingall, George Forrester, Francis Brewster, and Reginald Brougham (see TCA2 v1 p321-324, 326). Those clubs were also short lived. But none of them had a flange as large or as visual as Rose's flange.

Original 38" shaft has its original leather wrapped grip. In short, this iron is a prime example of a highly visual and exceedingly rare 1913 Rose patent flanged-iron.

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